Arc 26: What can be done for tomorrow
Chapter 262: The tortoise, and An Enigmatic Ruler Class
All of the frazes right before our eyes are being smashed into the tiniest pieces we’ve ever seen due to being fired at with crystal bullets flying at the hundreds per minute from the gatling gun.
『Oh, they’re unexpectedly fragile, aren’t they?』(Rin)
She murmurs that as the black Grimgerde, Rin’s frame gear armed with heavy weapons, shoots down the Manta-types flying in the sky with its Gatling gun.
Furthermore, it has also unfolded its armored chest in another direction on the ground and sends forth another set of volleys from its pair of Gatling guns.
Grimgerde then enters a cooldown period to prevent overheating after she’s done shooting the enemies to some extent.
During this time, several Chevaliers make sure to destroy the cores of the frazes which Grimgerde didn’t manage to hit.
There are several demerits in Rin’s frame. First is that her allies can’t join the fray due to how her attack works. They’ll also be hit alongside the enemy after all.
Next is that it’s possible her shooting would miss the cores no matter what she does because her enemies would be overlapping each other in some places. Even if their bodies get scattered, they’ll still end up regenerating if their cores are unharmed. Though if she concentrates a volley in a single point, it won’t be an issue.
The last one is that she can’t keep up a sustained fire for a long time, I guess. The body of the frame wouldn’t be able to withstand the impact of the recoil and the temperature being generated. Grimgerde has an automatic repair function to some extent since crystal materials have been used in the manufacturing process as its base, but it still can’t keep up with with the damage caused by a prolonged fire. Some sort of cooldown period becomes necessary.
Because of those reasons, people who will cover those weaknesses are now a necessity.
The flying type frazes have begun their attack from the skies on Grimgerde that stopped shooting, but they are then shot at with bullets coming from somewhere, resulting in them stalling and then falling down to the ground.
『That was helpful. Thank you』(Rin)
Helmwige flies by in its arial form while shooting down the frazes approaching Grimgerde as if simply taking this opportunity. Linzie, huh?
Speaking of Linzie’s frame, she’s making the best use of its abilities as she soars around the battlefield and provides fire support in different places. It’s a position of a raider.
Similarly, on the ground, Luu runs through the battlefield in high mobility mode while wielding a pair of kodachi in the hands of her green dragoon.
There’s yet another battle taking place in the rear which has been started by Linzie and the girls.
Along with Suu’s shout, a countless number of star-shaped lights are produced from the left hand which is held overhead of Ortlinde Overload, giving birth to a defensive wall of light which has been orderly lined up in a flash.
This stardust defensive wall completely repels beam shots fired by an intermediate type koi carp fraze flying in the air. The right hand is then shot forth at high speed from the right elbow of Ortlinde Overlord the moment this attack has been repelled.
『Cannon Knuckle Spiral ! !』
The right hand that has been shot out quickly rotates like a bullet while crushing the koi carp fraze. Having gone through it, the hand draws an arc and returns back to Ortlinde Overlord.
So they’ve added a rotational motion, huh? Well, it’s a correct remodeling in a certain sense…
Speaking of Suu’s Ortlinde, I’m basically asking her to devote herself to the defense of the headquarters. In all honesty, it’s for that very reason why Ortlinde is installed with a very high defensive capability. There’s also a matter of me not really wanting to send out Suu, who’s the youngest, to the frontlines more than anything else.
I suppose it’s something along those lines. Soaring with [Fly], I then jump to the company which looks like it’s being pressured on the ground.
『5th company, just because you’re up against lower class doesn’t mean that you all should try to fight them one-on-one! Support each other and pay attention to your comrades around you, and not just the enemy in front of you! 』(Touya)
I pass the instructions through the smartphone. The 5th company is a company consisting of the new knights. It seems they aren’t accustomed to the one-vs-many type of battles yet, so they have to move while carefully watching their surroundings as not to get encircled just like this situation they are currently in.
「Oh, Coiling Ice, Freezing Curse, Ice Bind」
I invoke a restraining magic, aiming it at the frazes attacking the 5th company. Their legs become frozen, temporarily stopping their movement. Those guys will manage to escape even if we do that by destroying their own legs, but it’s plenty enough if we manage to stop them even for a short while.
The Chevaliers of the 5th company start breaking the cores of the immobilized frazes one by one. All right. This side should be okay now.
The moment I think of that, a red frame, a purple frame and an orange frame alongside as well fly towards this place from the headquarters.
『Sorry, we’re late!』(Elzie)
『We’re deeply sorry!』(Yae)
It’s Elzie in Gerhilde, Yae in Schwertleite and Hilda in Siegrune. It can’t be helped — those girls have been resting inside the castle after all.
The lightly armored Yae starts dancing as the lead with a long sword made of the crystal material in her hand, precisely killing frazes and tearing up their cores.
And just like that, they’ve begun slaughtering the crystal devils one by one after finally arriving at the frontlines.
『Your Majesty, a large distortion has been confirmed 1km in front of the main headquarters. This appears to be an indication that an advanced-class will be arriving soon』
「So it’s coming, huh?… Notice to all companies, distance yourselves from the point where an Advance-Class will appear」(Touya)
Having been contacted by Tsubaki-san who’s stationed at the headquarters and thanking her deep inside for her observations, I’ve then started to takeout [Stars] made of crystal materials to be used for [Meteor Zapper] from [Storage].
I’ll strike this guy the moment he appears. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to break his core with just this pre-emptive strike, so the plan is to do an all-out attack to it when it becomes worn-out due to the damage it will receive from this surprise attack.
Extending my vision with “Long Sense”, I confirm the cracks in the air indicating the point of the appearance. It’s coming out now.
A crevice starts spreading out like a glass getting fine cracks with snapping sounds. The Advance-Class then makes its appearance from the large dimensional tear it opened-up, smashing it loudly along with a thunderous roar.
It raises a yell aimed towards the sky while it’s sparkling body, which looks like a small mountain, makes a reverberating thud through the ground.
Its back is drawing a smooth round curve. It has six fat and short legs, a tail waving like a snake furnished with countless long thorns, and a head extending from a shell-like body.
It’s a large turtle. I suppose I should even call it a tortoise-type, though there are six legs, and sharp blades resembling a saw installed on the edge of its shell.
The number of cores is… one, located inside its shell, huh? It’s emitting a dull orange light.
「Huge! I suppose it’s the same as usual… However, I think I should be grateful to that creature since it’s making itself a better target for me. [Meteor Zapper]」
A countless number of [Gates] open up right above the tortoise, and the crystal [Stars] start falling down with their weight increased with [Gravity]. The moment I start thinking about the damage that attack has caused, the tortoise drew its head along with its feet and tail into the shell, completely hiding them. Furthermore, the stars are being deflected by the smooth curve of its shell once they hit, slipping down to the ground.
「Damn! So it can protect itself like that, huh…?」(Touya)
Does this mean that it’s a defensive-type fraze because it’s a tortoise? While I’m being dumbfounded, the tortoise who’s currently in seclusion suddenly puts out just its long tail. A countless number of thorns on the tip are then fired out in all directions like missiles.
「This is bad! Evasive maneuvers!」(Touya)
Hundreds of crystal arrows are separating more and more from the thorns, pouring down all around the same way similar to a cluster bomb attack.
The damage it caused is negligible, probably thanks to the fact that everyone has already distanced themselves from here in order to not end up getting mixed in the effects of [Meteor Zapper]. Still, several machines have stopped moving and changed their color. It’s the reaction indicating the escape of the pilot via transfer magic.
「Nno, BREAK ! !」(Elzie)
Having jumped to the tortoise’s feet, Elzie’s Gerhilde puts all her strength into the pile bunker in her right hand and shoots it into the center of the foot. Breaking it with the first attack is generally unreasonable, but it eventually breaks with the second one.
Nevertheless, the tortoise wouldn’t lose its balance even if one of them is destroyed due to having three pairs of feet. I should’ve been able to bring it down if I used [Slip], but it’s very likely that Elzie would get crushed beneath it.
However, Elzie immediately retreats from that place while the pair of Hilda and Yae tear up one of the remaining legs on the same side, slicing it from left and right.
Having lost two of its three legs all on one side, the tortoise loses its balance and starts falling down on the girls. Both Yae and Hilda promptly manage to escape so as not to get crushed underneath it. The fraze’s body falls down diagonally.
Although it can’t move, the tortoise opens its mouth wide and begins to gather particles of lights. This is bad. Does it plan to fire that weapon?!
Rin’s Grimgerde makes the tortoise eat the attack of her Gatling guns, but the bullets strike the shell of the tortoise, change their direction and fly away into tomorrow. It looks like that this shell is capable of warding off any attack thanks to its form aside from its property of being exceptionally hard. It’s probably similar to the shield Spica-san has.
『Cannon Knuckle Spiral! !』(Suu)
A rocket-fist launched and fired by Suu’s Ortlinde from the headquarters smashes the tortoise’s head into small pieces. The balls of light vanish like a mist, and the tip of the now nonexistent head is swaying about. Nice!
However, its head has already started regenerating along with its legs. We must break that core fast. Now then, how exactly are we going to do that…?
Then, the smartphone in my breast pocket receives an incoming call as I’m being absorbed by those thoughts.
『Touya-kun, are you not going to try using “that”?』(Regina)
It’s a call from the professor.
「By “that”, do you mean… “That”? The secret weapon which you said that Rosetta had manufactured. But doesn’t “that” eat up a lot of magic power?… 」(Touya)
『I guess so. It certainly is a weapon which you’ll probably only be able to shoot just one time even if you borrow Linzie and Rin’s power, but it’s still better than doing nothing, don’t you agree? And by the way, I’ve already received their agreement. Everything else depends on you』(Regina)
Muu. I wanted to avoid using “that” weapon without testing it beforehand, but It can’t be helped.
Linzie’s and Rin’s frames, Helmwige and Grimgerde, support the [Cannon] transferred in front of them as if holding it from left and right. A talon-looking anchor protruding from the barrel has been hammered into the ground and affixed so that it would withstand the recoil.
This is the giant magic gun, [Brionac]. It has a barrel nearly three times longer than a regular frame gear and fires a specially manufactured bullet using explosion magic which is enhanced by huge amounts of magic power. It also has a pre-programmed magic that applies a rotation to the bullet with the use of spiral magic, vastly increasing its firepower.
It appears that it takes time to charge the gun with magic power, and it’s not capable of firing rapidly due to its huge magic power consumption. It’s a weapon which can be called a one-shot-one-kill type of weapon.
「Are both of you ready?」(Touya)
『Leave it to us』(Rin)
Linzie pours fire attribute magic power into [Brionac] while Rin pours wind attribute magic power. The magic load gauge installed on the sides of the barrel start rising up gradually.
『Loading 75%… 80%… 85%… 90%…』(Regina)
While listening to the voice of the professor, I turn my eyes toward the tortoise in front of us. The aim is the throat leading straight to the core which is the root from which its neck extends from inside the shell. It won’t be able to repel an attack at that place.
The regeneration of the head and legs is progressing. We have to settle it before it finishes its regeneration completely.
「Okay, F-I-R-E! ! 」
[Brionac] emits a thunderous roar, blowing a grand flame.
A gigantic bullet, having been fired, explodes at the Tortoise’s base of the neck without changing its aim. All right! This is where [Brionac] will show what it’s made of.
A warhead, which is helically hollowed out with grooves, starts to rotate at high speeds the moment it explodes. It’s the so-called “Drill Bullet”. Far from having the power to repel the shot, the Advance-Class fraze has its body smashed by the spiral bullet pushing into it.
As it finally reaches the core straight ahead soon afterward, the bullet pulverizes the orange sphere into small pieces with the same force and pierces through the tail.
Destroying the core of an advanced fraze produces cracks throughout its whole body as it loudly collapses with a clattering sound.
「It seems we’ve somehow managed to defeat it…」(Touya)
White steam rises up from [Brionac] with a *fwoosh*. Did its cooling mechanism activate? Both Helmwige and Grimgerde fall on one knee and stop moving.
「Are you two okay?」(Touya)
『That, that was really bad… All my magic has been taken. It will be pretty much impossible to fire it the second time』(Rin)
Assuming that it can be used by a set of three people from our side, we’ll be left with Yumina and Sakura, I guess. Oh well, there’s still room for improvement, and we might be able to use a lot easier next time.
「Okay. The advance class has been disposed of. Switch to clean-up battle tactics」(Touya)
The frame gears of each nation start defeating the remaining frazes.
Just as I breathe out a sigh, thinking I should be feeling relieved, the frazes in the surrounding area stop moving all at once. What’s with them?
The sky divides in the place Linzie’s Helmwige points at, and the sound of disruption reverberates, producing a bigger distortion than when the advanced class appeared. This is, don’t tell me…!!
The fellow who jumps out from the hole that opened up in the sky starts looking around restlessly after he quietly goes down to the ground.
A hardened skin and crystal-looking hair, the one covered with crystals all over its body and reigning at the summit of the frazes — — — A Ruler-Class.
This is the fourth Ruler-Class I’ve seen. First was Nei, a female-type who directed her anger to End. Second was Gira, a male-type battle maniac. Last was Rize, a female-type bystander working with End.
The Ruler-class in front of me has a well-proportioned face, but he’s probably a male-type. I just don’t know if distinguishing the Ruler-Class frazes has any meaning to it though.
Having descended to the ground, I then confront this fraze. I can’t see any change in his expression even if he turned his eyes to me.
The Ruler-Class points to me in a slow motion and his finger suddenly extends as if he’s trying to skewer me.
I brush away the finger that came stretching towards my face without any mercy with Brynhildr clad in divinity. That was sudden, you know. If the one receiving that attack was just a normal human, he would’ve died for sure.
Having repelled his attack, I notice a subtle change on his face after he sees that his finger has been broken, though the change to his expression is only him being a bit surprised. His finger also regenerates in a blink of an eye.
「Fumu. By my guess, you must End’s collaborator…」(Fraze)
「So you can talk, huh…?」(Touya)
「I’ve picked up the language of this world from Gira, after all. You’re Touya whom Gira spoke about, right?」(Fraze)
「Aah, that’s right」(Touya)
Why is that this guy, whom I’ve just met for the first time, knows my name? Has this Gira-guy been spreading rumors about me? Chi~, that bastard. I click my tongue while sending curses to the battle maniac Ruler-Class.
「I’m different from Gira and have no interest in you, bastard. There’s something I must do before the [Backlash] happens. Don’t hinder me」(Fraze)
Is he referring to the phenomenon that sends the Ruler-Class back to their own dimension after their appearance in this world for a short while? Like waves on the beaches that return back to the sea? Is that a “Backlash”? According to End, this “Backlash” gradually becomes less effective as they repeatedly come to this world, and that they will soon be affixed to this world, giving them the freedom to go here as much as they want.
The Ruler-Classes are probably not allowed to exist in this world so easily to the point that even Gira from before was only able to stay on this side for just nearly 30 minutes. It doesn’t change the fact that he was troublesome. If that’s the case, I’ll defeat this guy here in advance.
「I don’t know the circumstances on your side, but there’s no way I’ll let you do as you please and just be silent about it, you see?」(Touya)
Using “Teleport”, I appear behind the Ruler-Class and try to cleave him in two starting from the tip of his head, but I just end up cutting down his right hand since he immediately avoids my attack
Having taken a distance from me, this guy turns a really surprised glance at me.
This guy shows a really surprised expression to me after distancing himself from me.
「… I see. Now I understand why Gira is being noisy about you」(Fraze)
His right arm that was lopped off starts regenerating from the shoulder. Chi~, this guy’s regeneration is faster than the regular frazes as well.
「I’m different from Gira, in which I don’t find delight in battles. Likewise, I’ve no interest in you」(Fraze)
「…So are you saying that you’re just interested in the core of the [King]?」(Touya)
「That was before」(Fraze)
I try asking what he meant by what he just said, but then I notice a hairtail fish-type fraze flying towards here.
The Ruler-Class jumps onto the back of the flying fraze which has started to rise up from this place.
「The “Backlash” is coming. As expected, I have no time to be your opponent. My name is Yura. We should meet again one day 」(Yura)
The ruler type, who gave the name “Yura”, flies away on the hairtail fish just like that. Damn it! As if I’ll let you get away!
I invoke “Fly” and start chasing after him. The moment I thought I’d capture his retreating figure in the sky after continuously flying for a while, Yura’s body emits a blinding flash of light.
Being blinded by the sudden outburst of light, my vision turns pure white. Yura’s figure has already disappeared when I open my eyes again. Just now, is that a smoke screen?!
「Search! Flying Frazes!」(Touya)
『Search finished. 4 entries』
Among the indications shown by my smartphone, three are on the battlefield from before. That means that the fourth one is likely the one which Yura is flying on.
I start moving towards that direction in a straight line. After flying for about 5 minutes, I notice a hairtail fraze flying in this direction and shooting a laser of light. Yura is not on it.
「Scram ! !」(Touya)
I destroy the core of the hairtail fraze using a crystal bullet that’s enhanced by divinity and fired from Brynhildr. In the end, that fraze is merely an intermediate-class.
The sundered fraze starts falling down onto the ground as it reflects sparkling light.
「Search. Ruler Type」
『…Search finished. 0 entries』
There are no results? What’s the meaning of this? Has he been driven out from this world due to that [Backlash], or does he have a method to defend against search magic? What the heck was this guy’s objective…?
There is no way those guys will be able to remain in this world as of the moment, seeing that there’s this “Backlash” that forcefully returns them back to their world. He should have been sent back to the dimensional gap sooner of later. However, I’m wondering what this guy was trying to do by using this small amount of time.
The answer won’t come to me even if I think about it, but I still feel an ominous premonition for some reason.